A mortgage broker is a crucial part of the process of buying a home. She connects you, the borrower, to the lender, but that’s just the most obvious element of her role. How can you get the most out of your broker?
Start With Your Broker
Before you even start looking at homes, you should start preparing for your mortgage. That means gathering all of your financial documents and taking them to a mortgage broker. She will guide you through the pre-approval process so that you know what kind of loan you can get – how much money and on what terms. That way, you can give your realtor a realistic budget when you actually start searching for homes. In fact, many realtors will require a pre-approval before taking you to see any homes.
Your mortgage broker will also be able to spot any potential problems with your financial record, such as other large debts or past-due bills. She can give you advice on how to improve your finances so that your home loan rates are lower. She can also help you plan your finances to make sure you’ll be able to make your mortgage payments.
Be Honest With Your Broker
You don’t want to hide financial information from your broker. Hiding or falsifying information on an application for a loan constitutes fraud. It can cost you your home and more. In addition, the rules surrounding mortgages are complicated and not necessarily intuitive. Even a seemingly inconsequential piece of information may turn out to be important to the legality and legitimacy of your loan. For example, where are you getting your down payment from? Did you know that you can’t borrow it from a friend or family member? Your broker will need to know about the source of your money to make sure that your loan is valid.
Keep Your Broker Updated
Whenever something changes in your financial situation or in your house hunt, let your broker know. She can update your pre-approval documents and let you know how those changes will affect your ability to get a loan. For example, a serious illness in the family can mean big medical bills – that will decrease the amount of money you can get and increase your interest rate. Conversely, getting a big raise at work can increase your borrowing limit and decrease your interest rate.
Your broker is going to be involved in every part of the homebuying process, so she’s going to need all of your information eventually. The sooner you give it to her, the sooner she can act to help you avoid potential problems or take advantage of potential opportunities.
By the same token, talk to your broker before you make any big changes – changing jobs, buying a car, or anything else that will affect your finances. She can let you know how those changes will affect the mortgage process and can help you plan your decisions so you don’t accidentally hurt your chances of getting the loan you want.
When you meet with your broker for the first time, you should have all of your financial information ready. After that, start putting together the team you’ll need to actually purchase your home – an attorney, a realtor, a home appraiser, and a home inspector, for example. That way, your team can communicate with each other and you’ll be ready to buy as soon as you find the right home.
For most people, a home is the single most expensive purchase they’ll ever make. It’s not something to take lightly and you should be completely confident in your decision. Of course, mortgages are complicated financial instruments and yours will probably contain a lot of terms and conditions that are new to you. You’ll get a big stack of paperwork related to your loan offer and it’s part of your broker’s job to make sure you fully understand all the terms of the loan. Take advantage of her expertise and ask for clarification of anything you don’t understand.
In addition to making sure you understand the terms, ask about negotiating them. Your broker can help you work with your prospective lender to get the term, interest rate, and other conditions you want. She can also help you make adjustments to your finances to help you qualify for better terms.
Make It Easy
Your broker can make your home buying process a lot easier. She’ll handle all the important paperwork, negotiate with various lenders to get you the best deal, and coordinate with your realtor, attorney, and others to manage the closing. In order to do all that heavy lifting, she’ll need you to be responsive. That means providing all required information promptly and completely.
Your Broker Can Help
Your mortgage broker can help you with every step of the home buying process. She’s intimately familiar with the ins and outs of the financial regulations and logistics of home loans and can make sure your mortgage loan goes smoothly.
Of course, even the smoothest mortgage loans and home purchases can turn into trouble. If you’re struggling with your mortgage loan, the experienced Mortgage Warriors are here to help. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and consultation.